In the sweltering heat of July it is nice to take a cold appetizer to a party or picnic. Sometimes it is just too hot to eat anything heavy and these spring rolls are cold and refreshing. My daughter, Lindsey, taught me how to make them. She says to make the spring rolls one day in advance then refrigerate whole. They hold together better making it easier to cut into slices the next day. Making them in advance gives you an added bonus… more time to get “gussied up” for the party!
Carrot and Cucumber Spring Rolls with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce- 50 slices
1/2 English cucumber (seedless), cut into 3 inch long matchsticks
2-3 carrots, cut into 3 inch long matchsticks
4 ounces thin rice noodles (Look for dried rice noodles in the Asian section of the grocery store that are “thread like” not flat)
8 and 1/2 inch in diameter spring roll skins (in the Asian section)
20-25 Fresh cilantro leaves, rough chop
10-15 Fresh mint leaves, rough chop
Sweet Chili Sauce (I used Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce)
Peel cucumber and carrots. Cut cucumber and carrots into matchsticks 3 inches long. Set aside. Remove cilantro leaves from stems. Rinse and soak cilantro and mint leaves then drain. Set aside on paper towels to dry.
To prepare noodles: Get out a large bowl and fill it halfway full with cold water. Get out a large colander. Set both aside( the noodles only take 2 to 3 minutes to cook so you want to have everything ready). Bring a large pot of water to a boil then remove from heat. Gently add noodles to hot water as a solid piece. Try not to break them (they break easily). Don’t stir. Soak without stirring for 2 minutes. If the noodles are limp after 2 minutes (it may take another minute) pour noodles and hot water into the colander. Drain. Immediately pour drained noodles in bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Let noodles sit in the cold water several minutes. Drain noodles and return to bowl. If noodles are still hot- cover again with cold water then drain.
To assemble spring rolls: The recipe should make 10 spring rolls. Divide the carrots, cucumber and noodles into 10 portions. For each roll: Fill a pie pan halfway full with cold water. Clean countertop then wet a 10 inch circle liberally with water. Remove one spring roll skin from package and soak in water in the pie pan. When pliable, place on counter that has been wet with water. In the bottom third of the spring roll skin place one tenth of the rice noodles, carrots and cucumber in a horizontal line. Sprinkle with mint and cilantro. Roll bottom edge over filling and fold in one inch on each side.
Roll up like you would an egg roll.
Place on a wet plate (you don’t want the rolls to become glued to the plate or each other- the water prevents this). Just keep everything wet. Make 10 rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, slice each roll into 5 slices. You should have 50 slices total.
Serve with sweet chili sauce.
Tip- put a spoon in the sauce so people can spoon it on top of their appetizer instead of dipping the roll into the sauce and spilling the contents of the roll into the sauce!
Published in The News and Neighbor on July 26, 2014